The BIM bonus: Increasing reliability and efficiency of simulation software

The BIM bonus: Increasing reliability and efficiency of crowd simulation software

BIM enables the importing of both 3D geometry and whole BIM objects, providing a valuable tool for simulation software. Here, Oasys explains

Running pedestrian simulations involves importing and storing large amounts of data – and that has often been the most time-consuming part of the process. Adding building objects like doors and escalators was done manually.

Now, with IFC as a reliable and vendor-neutral way of getting information into simulation tools like MassMotion, import/export is simply no longer an issue. We can focus on what we do with the data available to the simulation, and not worry about the logistics of getting it in there.

Greater efficiency

BIM turbocharges the whole simulation process because we can import not just 3D geometry but whole BIM objects. So, where there are floors and stairs, the simulation software picks up on the metadata and recognises these objects for what they are. It immediately understands where they are and how they will affect the journey costs that are perceived by agents without the need for hours of additional data input. MassMotion algorithms go through the geometry to work out adjacencies of spaces and building features, and to map out the alternative routes available to agents.

There may be a few anomalies, like a stairway slightly offset leading to a brick wall or thin air, but with the option of 3D visualisation you can do an immediate sanity check and they are obvious to see. In any case, MassMotion spots and highlights them, so you can pretty much drag-and-drop until the feature goes green on screen, letting you know the exception has been resolved.

If you spot congestion on screen, you can try creating a bigger or second link – a wider gateway, or a second door perhaps – and MassMotion will calculate new route options and test them on crowd with its specific agenda. Once the underlying data is imported, you can quickly see results of these complex multi-threaded calculations testing different scenarios in minutes rather than hours or days.


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